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* Posts by Acme Fixer

123 posts • joined 26 Jul 2007

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Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing

Acme Fixer

Re: The reason is simple enough

People I know who have a Yahoo email acct have all recently complained about the new Yahoo webmail UI. Yahoo has offered the users surveys to get feedback on how they like/dislike it. So far they seem to have done nothing about the complaints.

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Acme Fixer

Re: You gotta remember

This person seems to have as much trouble nailing accountants to a job description as nailing jelly to a tree.

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T-Mobile US cuts overage charges, dares rivals to follow suit

Acme Fixer

Good or Bad?

I'm on prepaid unlimited text and data but only a hundred minutes voice. I seldom go over 100 minutes, but when I do they make a big stink. But last month they billed me an additional 6 dollars, which is OK, and the nagging text msgs didn't occur. Maybe the overage will stop. But what concerns me is if they try to put me on a different plan that's more expensive. Then I'll complain, because I'm only paying 30 dollars a month now. I'll NEVER go back to at&t after all the problems I had with them, but I might change to Verizon.

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One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work

Acme Fixer

Yeah, but..

The NSA and the GCHQ are on our side.

It's a major concern that almost all cell phones are talking over equipment made by state owned company Huawei.

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Acme Fixer

Someday...

The virtual world is going to catch up with the real world. there needs to be a supreme agency to monitor and control the Internet access of every country. If this 'advanced persistent threat' continues to be a problem, CLICK! No more internet access. If the country's providers are unwilling to take care of the problem, then CLICK! They lose Internet access too. That shouldn't be that big a problem because China right now does not allow their users much internet access. More than a billion people, and the truth is hidden from them behind the Great Firewall.

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The gift of Grace: COBOL's odyssey from Vietnam to the Square Mile

Acme Fixer

they have disassemblers, don't they?

So they may come up with something like that for translating Cobol into another language.

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Acme Fixer

Re: COBOL - Yuck!

I Remember hearing the the screaming of the line printer, coming to a halt and then seeing one of the programmers reach down and pick up 6 inches of green bar so he could see what was wrong. After several iterations of this the printer seemed to quiet down for quite a while. He must be back at his desk trying to figure out what the compiler dump printout said. All in a day's work I guess. I always knew that it was the programmers because the first page always had their name on it instead of a program name! The programmers must have decimated hundreds of square miles of forest with their printouts!

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AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'

Acme Fixer

not gaming...

I'd like to run Photoshop without a built-in coffee break!

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Time is on their side: NIST's new atomic clock accurate for 300 MEEELLION years

Acme Fixer

Not sure...

you can trust NIST. They crippled the encryption standards at the request of the NSA. So, who knows?

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Acme Fixer

Re: Synchronous Power Grids

How did you know that the grid frequency was 49.99 Hertz? you had to have an accurate clock! If you want your power to be at your frequency then you should make your own power grid. In other words live "off the grid." Obviously the commercial power grid is not going to let you change it!

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Why won't you DIE? IBM's S/360 and its legacy at 50

Acme Fixer

Re: No mention of microcode? - floppy disk

Might be maintenance test and repair system? I remember seeing GHAT tapes on our Bull FE's desk. We started out with a level 66. One of our VPs told me that our Computer Services director was always asking for "More core, more core!" We only had 1.5 megabytes.

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Acme Fixer

Re: I'm a spring chicken.

The line was RG-62/u 93 ohm coaxial cable, not twinax. I pulled hundreds of meters of it.

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Acme Fixer

Re: Too early for a Godwin?

Microsoft doesn't sell software, they sell a license to use their software. Wow, think about that one for a while!

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Acme Fixer

Re: Excel enables the next Holocaust!

I once read about the bodies exhumed being identified as the Czar's family. Also something about Stalin saying once they're dead they're no problem. I once read there were four times as many Russians killed as there were Holocaust victims. That's 25 million people. So it looks like Stalin had too many problems to be solved by a punch card. Sorry for being so OT.

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Acme Fixer
Thumb Down

Re: Too early for a Godwin?

I don't see the relevance of the airplanes in the WW II effort to The Holocaust. I suppose the next thing you'll come up with is that the Colossus was responsible for millions of deaths. Duh! Besides, there were many more people killed in the fire bombings of Tokyo and Dresden then there were people killed in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

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GRAV WAVE TSUNAMI boffinry BONANZA – the aftershock of the universe's Big Bang

Acme Fixer

Re: Science: Eleventy Billion! Religion: 0

Oh, I see.... I think...

I just got back from the O.R., and I think the anesthetic has got me in over the top of my head...

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Acme Fixer

Re: "Mu"

Search for "multiverse."

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Acme Fixer

Re: "Mu"

"How big is Infinity?" Asking about space, instead of time.

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Acme Fixer

Re: Yay for boffins!!

As in Men In Black, it was the trinket hanging from the collar around that talking dog's neck.

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Acme Fixer

Reminds me of..

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. "..with a confidence of one in umpteen gazillion to one," as the Infinite Improbability Generator lands them in the cargo hold (or wherever it was) of the spaceship.

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Bill Gates-backed SOLAR POO RAYGUN COMMODE unveiled

Acme Fixer

Re: One slight niggle

Another comes to mind. What happens during the night time when there's no solar heat? Does it all gather up in overflow? I hope they've got enough storage to last until the next day. BTW, what does burnt excrement smell like? Will it cause air pollution? I suppose all the NIMBYs out there will try to get it stopped by some environmental regulation.

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Acme Fixer

Re: BBQ

These things are going to be used where they are already cooking with cow pies or cow dung so they're already used to it.

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Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

Acme Fixer

Re: Facts-

It's not fear mongering, it's insurance companies covering their a$$.

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Pony up: Botnet succesfully targets Bitcoin

Acme Fixer

Does anyone know how much money (dollars, not clonecoins) the originator of Bitcoins has made from his creation? I wonder...

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'Only NUCLEAR power can SAVE HUMANITY', say Global Warming high priests

Acme Fixer

"Got any other immediate options besides fission reactors?"

Yes, try to get the total global use of electricity cut dramatically. I'm a Merkin, but the other countries blame us for using so much more power per capita than other countries. If more power is generated locally by solar energy, it will reduce the demand on the grid. And with more geothermal power the demand on the grid should also be reduced. If superconducting materials are used for long distance transmission, it may be possible to make a large enough grid to get power from the sunny side of the earth to the dark side. That should also help. Recycling more aluminum instead of using so much electricity to process ore will also reduce the demand. It's these incremental things that are going to have to help, and nuclear power is just another one of them.

I remember when an average TV used to use 350 watts of power; now they use more like 35 watts up to maybe a hundred. That's a big savings considering all the TVs that are running. Replacing equipment with newer, less power hungry versions will also help. One example is LED lighting. This benefits the user because the electric bill is less. If it requires that the turkey contractors are not allowed to install the older less efficient equipment (washers, dryers, and especially dishwashers) then get the laws passed to make it happen. Someday perhaps there will be no grid. Instead the homeowner will have a fuel cell that runs off fnatural gas and, along with solar, supplies all of their electricity needs.

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Acme Fixer

Re: How much money is seriously spent on renewable research?

Some of the solar generating facilities here in California use mirrors to concentrate the sunlight onto pipes that have oil heated and circulated to the generators. The heated oil can also heat a heat storage facility, which is then used to run the generators after daylight. Also, some of the generators can run on both solar and fuel such as natural gas, which allows the generators to run during the dark hours. This is nor rocket science, it's here today. There is also geothermal power, which can run 24/7.

Solar photovoltaic panels can be added to existing buildings and put out peak power when the sun is brightest and hottest, and when the HVAC is working its hardest. This makes the peak demand on the generating and transmission system much lower, since it's synced with the peak demand.

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Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

Acme Fixer

I'm from the U.S. but...

So I don't really know anything about (or hear) DAB. But... My observation from digital TV is that the broadcasters want to squeeze more 'stations' (broadcasts) into a single channel, in order to maximize revenue, commercials I assume. So now the expensive 1080P TV doesn't get many stations higher than 720, and when I was watching one station and they showed a flock of birds taking off, the whole screen became blocky and pixellated, presumably because the compression algorithm couldn't handle the high rate of changed data caused by all the movement. Same thing with sports scenes or other action scenes. It sucks.

And every time I turn off the switch to the fluorescent light, I lose a half second of audio and video. I long for the days when all you'd see was a glitch on the screen and (probably not even) a click in the sound. I wonder if DAB is going to suffer the same vulnerability. In which case, I think it should stay away from the U.S.

What could be worse is if HPN or ethernet over the power lines starts to interfere with the DAB signals. Or if the 'white space' digital signals start getting too close to the DAB signals. Stuff happens...

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Acme Fixer

Re: DAB Bashing

If most of the people in the 'neutral or positive' category are neutral, then what is the justification for changing it?

And if you already have FM sets all over the place and you're satisfied with the content...

If something isn't broke, then why fix it? Just my two U.S. cent's worth.

Oh, yeah, I forgot about one reason. Changing to DAB will help the manufacturers sell more radio sets. Obsolete all those FM sets and we'll sell all these DAB radios.

Oh, they forgot that the users could just change over to their favorite stations on their PCs, laptops and mobes -- for free. Duh.

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Acme Fixer

Re: DAB Bashing

Perhaps someone will come up with a converter box that rebroadcasts a single channel on a FM frequency, over an area of a few tens or so square meters. Then the old FM radios will be able to receive any one of the DAB channels. Something like a mobile hot spot for FM radios. And if they wanted to add a feature, they could decode the online radio stations and rebroadcast one of them, too. It will probably put a dent in DAB set sales, so the manufacturers will probably oppose it.

Boo! Happy Halloween.

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Is this the silicon chip KILLER? Boffins boot up carbon-nanotube CPU

Acme Fixer

Re: Spin-off technology?

They may need to use this with silicon. When the dimensions get small enough to cause the defects to increase and the yields to go down, this may be a way of correcting the defects and rescuing the chips from the rejects bin. Just add a few spares here and there.

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RADIATION SNATCHED from leaky microwave ovens to power gadgets

Acme Fixer

Re: How about .....

I find it amusing that so much trouble is go to just to harvest a fraction of a milliwatt. I have an inside/outside thermometer with LCD that has been running for much more than a decade on a single AAA cell. With an LR44 button cell, it should run for much more than a year. So it seems a waste to try to get energy from an unpredictable source when a button cell at a cost of a few cents does a much better job. Or take the design from the calculator industry. Just use a small solar cell and get a lot more energy than from a very intermittent microwave source.

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Reelin' in the years: Tracking the history of magnetic tape

Acme Fixer

Re: Could someone clarify bias "mixing" please?

When I said superimposed, I should have said that it was the same as mixing the audio with the AC bias. This was done at the head. But you could have thought of the AC bias as being just another audio signal mixed with the audio.

Of course the AC bias was more powerful than the audio because it had to overcome the hysteresis in the magnetization. Also the same AC bias was used to erase the tape.

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Acme Fixer

Re: Could someone clarify bias "mixing" please?

I like to think of it this way. The tape is magnetized positively and negatively (or plus and minus) many times by the bias during the time a point on the tape passes over the gap in the head. On the average, the magnetization is zero because the bias signal is an AC sine wave, with no DC component. As the audio is superimposed onto the bias, which looks to the head gap like a slowly varying offset in the bias magnetization, the audio causes that average to go positive and negative, and so the average magnetization varies with the audio signal. This is what is left on the tape. And the bias changes polarity so many times during the time the tape is in the gap that there is no bias frequency on the tape. What you hear is just the audio.

Some very cheap tape recorders used a magnet to give the tape head the 'DC' bias, instead of the AC bias signal. Magnets were also used to erase the tape. But the AC bias gave a much better erasure.

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Give us a break: Next Android version to be called 'KitKat'

Acme Fixer
IT Angle

Er...

I think they've bitten off more than they can chew. ;-)

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Facebook scammers raking in $200 MEEELLION in illicit profits

Acme Fixer
Holmes

Tricksters

I constantly see these "Lose weight by doing this One Easy Trick" type of ads. They're like a magician: you know there's gotta be a catch to it, and your curiosity gets the better of you, so you fall for the bait. Sure these spammers generate content, and they do it by stretching the truth until it is so thin it's totally transparent. Legit companies don't need to go to all the machinations of trying to get the suckers to fall for their products. If the same method was used to sell a legit product, the spammers would be branded as scammers. P. T. Barnum was right.

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Palestinian Facebook flaw-finder getting $10,000 payday in online appeal

Acme Fixer
Thumb Up

Point Taken - Re: This kind of attitude is wrong

I wonder if anything can be read between the lines of "tightening up (our whatever)". Like I just got chewed out by the Boss because I let this slip through without catching it the first time.

Maybe the fear of being fired will instill a bit of diligence into them and prevent it from happening again.

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Workers at world's largest – and most remote – telescope go on strike

Acme Fixer

Hah-hah! Touche'

But talk about misspelling:

(exact quote)

"And can you please invent you own language instead of misspelling ours?"

We have a Scotsman named Alistair, and it's such an improvement to listen to him, compared to the British accents at the "pub" down the street.

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Acme Fixer
Thumb Up

I Second That Emotion!!

Just like the word soccer, it wasn't us Americans that came up with that system of measurement., it was the British. Just be glad it isn't expressed in furlongs!

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WikiLeaker Bradley Manning found not guilty of 'aiding the enemy'

Acme Fixer

Re: America "..In very dire straits indeed."

Manning went to prison as much for being in the military as he did for his actions. When you are a member of the U.S. military, you sign away many of your rights that you would have had as a citizen. He was punished under the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice), NOT the U.S. constitution.

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What did the Romans ever do for us? Packet switching...

Acme Fixer

Horrible inefficient? - Re: Freeview vs cable

Inefficient in what way? The amount of power in ERP is much greater than the actual power output of the final power amplifiers of the transmitter because of the very high gain of modern antennas.

Also consider that there is no cost for installation of cable, fiber or copper, just set up a transceiver and maybe a small antenna. Google is planning (or already doing) the high altitude blimps for terreestrial WiFi coverage

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-05/26/google-blimps

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Acme Fixer
Meh

Re: What have the Romans ever done for us? @AC 12:32

They gave us the cobblestone roads all over Europe, and the ruts in them, too, from the chariots.

And STDs.

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Acme Fixer

I remember forgetting this stuff....

HUH? How could you remember forgetting it if you forgot it to begin with?????

Right....

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For pity's sake: DON'T MOVE to the COUNTRY if you want to live

Acme Fixer

Re: "When I mentioned a taxi as a good alternative, they said, "No, were used to drinking and driving, you're not, so that's why you need the cab"."

Nah. He just couldn't cope with driving on the "wrong" side of the road. Loaded OR sober.

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Boeing batteries back under spotlight as 787 burns at Heathrow

Acme Fixer

<<It was only mildly on fire.>>

Well, DUH! When an airplane is made out of plastic (carbon fiber composite), there's no such thing as MILDLY!

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Pttow! Ofcom kicks hams out of MoD bands

Acme Fixer

One other point... I thought that the protocols used in these bands were spread spectrum, frequency hopping, etc. So if there's a frequency in use, the equipment just skips using that frequency and goes about its business with little or no bad effects. In other words, there is no need to "kick out" one type of user, since they're all interfering with one another on an ongoing basis. Sort of like a free-for-all.

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Acme Fixer
Holmes

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme...

I don't know about the U.K., but the U.S. feds forbid radio amateurs from using the ham bands for commercial purposes. So if these bands were to be "monetized" (seems like a new term - thanks, Google), then it would be unfair to expect the radio amateurs to pay for something for which they could never recover their costs.

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T-mobile US in invisible handset handcuff contract smackdown

Acme Fixer
Pint

"... like Apple have taken a bigger role in servicing customers."

Servicing... Like a bull services a cow.

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The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Acme Fixer
Devil

Re: WHAT!

Having had experience with the 4361, I would say that anyone with a soft spot for IBM should reevaluate their senses.

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Paper computers: Not mere pulp fiction

Acme Fixer

In another article they talked about a 10 Euro E-reader. With those kinds of prices, it looks like paper is dead. Maybe the politicians will get enough lobbying from the paper industry to put a tax on e-readers, to help pay for the recycling.

One point about using paper for anything electronic... Paper is not a good insulator, and absorbs humidity, which makes it conduct electricity. That's one problem that has to be solved before it can be used for a printed circuit board substitute.

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Microsoft flings out emergency patch for Iatest gaping IE hole

Acme Fixer

One Would Think...

That by now, 99.99 percent of these "gaping holes" would have been fixed, and we would not need to have a patch Tue every single month. But if people keep converting over to tablets, we will fix that problem, eventually. Except for my organization, which has given me a Win 8 desktop with a touch screen. Which sits back against the wall, and seldom gets touched. DUH.

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